14 Apr

Barber-shop quartet singing  which began in the 1800’s had graduated to modern day jew-wop. Saturday night. NW DC.

Adas Israel Congregation located in NW DC hosted its 3rd annual NATIONAL COLLEGIATE JEWISH ACCAPELLA COMPETITION motzaei Shabbat, exiting Sabbath concert. This year? A first. The concert held after the new work started at sundown Saturday night. Cantor Arianne Brown joined with the rabbi, a Steve Carrell dopplanger, leading the packed University of District of Columbia UDC auditorium in Havdalah, the ceremony welcoming the week as the Sabbath has ended- fire, spice and wine. Song, song and more song, the perfect warmup for the outstanding music evening to come.  A Capella, music without  an instrument included hymns, the earliest form of singing in the churches and synagogues. While Gregorian chant was early Christian acapella music, Renaissance and Reformation composers introduced complicated musical works sung without musical instrument accompaniment for their hymns and choirs.

Adas Israel, the Adas Israel Mens Club, volunteers, staff, YP@AI committee, donors and sponsors hosted six talented college Jewish Acapella groups from Indiana University, University of Wisconsin Madison, Binghamton University, Princeton University, University of Maryland competed for prizes and categories of Best Arrangement, Best Beat Boxer and Audience Favorite starting with Sabbath at Adas followed with a night of celebration of Jewish History month. MC Brian Brandler intrpduced, Mezumenet- University of Maryland’s only all girl acapella group on campus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaXaAT8345s , Jewop, Kaskeset http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6Q5kohLSY0 , Hooshir http://iuhillel.org/hooshir/ , Rak Shalom (only peace) http://www.youtube.com/user/rakshalom, Koleinu (our voices) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScjBeryfKto  with a guest moment from Tizmoret, winner of 2012’s competition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGKr62nwGu0 . The audience was asked to text their winner choice to numbers printed in the program while the Judges stepped out to make their choices.

The students change year to year. The legacy of their rich traditions live on in their Jewish words. Mezumenet is a 4 year old group at University of Maryland- one of three. Madison Wisconsin’s Jewop traveled from 800 miles away singing Lemon Moon and a Yiddish classich. Kaskeset is a 17 year old group moving in sync and polished as an acapella team.  Hooshir is the Bloomington Indiana contribution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xykmbvULkcE . Rak Shalom was the 2nd University of Maryland participant present. Koleina traveled from New Jersey. Tizmoret, Queens College’s pride in Jewish Joy fundraised on Kickstarter to secure funding for their CD.

Brandler said the contemporary Acapella Society of Israel is in talks for hosting an International competition.

HOOSHIR walked away with the evening. One of their singers announced HOOSHIR has not won anything. They won the heart of the audience coming back on stage to thank their audience with a rousing rendition of JERUSALEM OF GOLD. Hooshir is University of Indiana’s only Jewish A cappella group. Hooshir has performed at the White House Hannukah party. The group was formed in 2006. Their CD entitled Knock Knock Hooshir was released last winter. The A Capella songs were Mishaela arranged by Gloria Bangiola, and Lecha Dodi arranged by Mike Boxer.

The breakout star of the evening was Rak Shalom, only peace, a co-ed Jewish acapella group at the University of Maryland singing Eishert Chayil and Shoshanim Atzuvot- Kiss from A Rose Mashup- Davids in a world of Goliaths, they keep Judaism alive in song.


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